Chalmers St – Consulting

Using Gemba Boards to Improve Productivity

gemba boards

Gemba boards are an effective tool for improving productivity in manufacturing processes. Visualizing data supports better decision-making and helps teams track their performance against targets.

While a simple whiteboard can be used for a Gemba board, there are more advanced options available, including software that helps automate the boards and integrate the information from ERP and other real-time data sources, making them even more dynamic and interactive. 

Here are a few ways they can help boost the productivity of your manufacturing team.

Improve Communication between Management and Teams with Gemba Boards

Gemba boards provide a forum for communication between management and employees on the shop floor. The boards allow visual cues that clearly display objectives, targets, and progress tracking which make it easy for everyone to understand what needs to be done and how it’s being accomplished.

This helps foster an open dialogue between management and teams about what is working well and what could be improved. Additionally, employees feel supported and valued for their work, improving morale and increasing motivation. A Gemba board is designed to be an interactive tool that the full team can use to communicate and collaborate.

Use Gemba Boards to Gain Clear Visibility into Production Efficiency

Gemba boards can offer insight into production efficiency by displaying information such as cycle time, yield rates, quality issues, throughput, lead times, etc. This makes it easier for managers to spot and address trends or issues quickly before they become bigger problems.

Having this level of visibility into production also allows managers and teams to identify areas where improvements need to be made or resources need to be allocated in order to maximize productivity levels.

Increases Accountability among Team Members

Gemba boards can also enhance accountability among team members by providing a visual representation of each member’s contribution towards an overall goal or objective. This helps create a sense of ownership and responsibility because each individual knows how their actions affect the whole team’s performance.

Plus, teams are more likely to focus on activities that will have a positive impact on the bottom line rather than busywork that has little impact on the organization’s goals or objectives.

Help Identify and Eliminate Waste

These are an effective tool for reducing waste in the manufacturing process because they can provide a visual representation of yield rates. For example, if a team is having difficulty meeting deadlines due to poor resource allocation, the Gemba board can provide an easy way for managers to spot this issue and correct it. By focusing on activities that will have a positive impact on the bottom line, front line leaders on the shop floor can find ways to reduce unnecessary tasks that don’t contribute to meeting objectives.

Gemba Boards Can Be Used to Motivate Employees

These boards can be used to encourage and recognize employees by displaying their work progress, achievements, and successes. By having all of the information in one place and readily available, employees can easily track their progress, allowing them to better gauge their performance and identify areas they need to improve. This helps drive employee engagement and accountability, giving them an incentive to stay the course and even try to improve their productivity.

Keep Managers and Teams Focused on Safety

Gemba boards are an effective tool for improving safety in the workplace. By providing a visual representation of safety protocols and best practices, these boards make it easier for teams to identify potential risks or hazards before they occur. This helps reduce the risk of accidents and injuries while also increasing overall productivity. 

Gemba boards can be used to track progress on safety initiatives such as training programs or equipment inspections. Highly visible indicators and reminders regarding safety compliance help teams remain up-to-date with all relevant safety knowledge and procedures.

Employees Can Provide Feedback

This creates a more open and collaborative environment where employees feel comfortable expressing their opinions and providing valuable input. By having a space to share their thoughts and insights, employees are able to brainstorm solutions or develop better strategies to help the team reach their goals.

Gemba boards are an effective way to improve productivity and efficiency in manufacturing teams. 

Gemba Boards Can Be Customized

These boards allow businesses to customize how their data is presented so managers see how KPIs are trending. For example,  on the production floor,  a Gemba board might be used to display color-coded labels or symbols that indicate the status of a process or a productivity metric and see if it is headed in the right direction.

In addition to customizing how data is presented on Gemba boards, businesses also have the ability to control who has access to view certain information. This helps prevent miscommunication or information overload for stakeholders.

Make It Easy to Reduce Downtime

Gemba boards are a great tool for reducing downtime in manufacturing teams. For example,  if a particular task is running behind schedule, the board can quickly show which tasks need to be prioritized in order for the team to reach their goals. Plus,  it’s easy to identify areas where resources need to be allocated or for managers to spot any recurring issues. This allows teams to make adjustments quickly and efficiently.

All these features combined make Gemba Boards an effective way for reducing downtime in manufacturing teams.

How Gemba Boards and Kaizen Events Are Different and Similar

These are two powerful tools used by organizations to increase productivity and efficiency. Used together, these tools can help create an environment of continuous improvement that is focused on eliminating waste and improving processes.

Gemba boards provide a visual representation of the team’s progress towards their goals, while kaizen events are structured meetings where employees identify areas for improvement and brainstorm solutions to problems. By combining these two tools, businesses can create an effective system for driving change in the workplace and creating a culture of innovation.

Want to learn more about Gemba? Check out our blog on Gemba Walks


Gemba boards are an effective way for manufacturing teams to stay organized and efficient while improving communication between management and employees in every aspect of the operation. 

At Chalmers Street Consulting, our goal is to help your company find ways to utilize Gemba boards to improve productivity. If you’d like to learn more about how we can help, contact us today for an initial consultation.